Mason Baseball Heads to Second Straight Diamond Classic, This Time As A Favorite

The Mason varsity baseball team have lost just three games this year.  They have clinched the CAAC Red division title, but one thing is still on their list, a Diamond Classic victory.

The Bulldogs have been one of the most stellar teams in the Lansing area, and were recognized with the second seed in the tournament. They play Portland St. Patrick, who beat DeWitt 1-0 on Monday night.

“We are just going to keep doing what we have been doing the whole season and treat it like another game,” said senior center fielder Sylas Woll. “Our chances are pretty good in the whole tournament, we just have to keep winning.”

Mason plans on simply going through their normal routine leading up to the game.  They will take batting practice on their field after school before heading to McLane Stadium for their 7:00 game.

“We will go through our normal stations and drills leading up to a big game.  Nothing changes in regard to our routine that we do every day,” said Mason varsity baseball head coach Kohl Tyrrell. “We don’t like to put pressure on them as a coaching staff.  Everybody needs to play loose and perform at the level that’s expected of them, but you know we never want to put more pressure on them, there’s already enough pressure in this game.”

Portland St Patrick is currently ranked fourth in Division Four, with an 18-1 overall record.  They have a great pitching staff that they have relied on to win games, headed by Nathan Lehnert.  He is an all league talent that pitched a shutout against the DeWitt Panthers.

“We went to their game and watched their pitching.  They have a pretty good pitcher and we are going to attack the first pitch fastball a lot because that’s what his number one pitch will be,” said junior utility man Jedian Acevedo.

Senior Trent Stuewe will most likely toe the rubber for the Bulldogs, proving himself as Mason’s ace this season with an ERA of .923.  Senior Dylan Magee could also pitch for the Bulldogs; he has posted a 1.75 ERA on the year.

“We just need to try and play great defense around Trent pitching,” said Acevedo. “We have great depth and great pitching.  It’s a great opportunity for all of us and it will be a lot of fun.”

Mason’s three losses have possibly been the best thing that happened to them this year, as it brought the team closer and made them take a step back.  They have also had to play from behind sometimes, which will help them in a tough tournament like the Diamond Classic.

“We have been able to deal with different situations in every game. We have had to deal with playing behind in certain games and have had three losses that have helped us grow as a team and learn from each other,” said Tyrrell.

In the past, the Diamond Classic has been held at Cooley Law School Stadium, home of the Lansing Lugnuts.  This year however, the tournament is being held at McLane Baseball Stadium, where the MSU baseball team plays.

Both coaches and players recognize what a great opportunity it is to play at McLane Stadium, an arguably better venue than Cooley Law School Stadium.

“The atmosphere is much different than Cooley Stadium. There is a stronger atmosphere when it comes to McLane, it’s a great venue for us,” said Tyrrell.

Mason looks to avenge last year’s loss in the Diamond Classic when they take on Portland St Patrick on Thursday at 7:00.